One Foot Island, or Tapuaetai in the native language, is one of 22 islands within the Aitutaki Lagoon. This island derives its name from the legend of a father and son that were spotted from a distance by a chieftain’s warriors fishing in the chief’s private lagoon. When pursued, they retreated to this island and the father sent his son ashore to hide in the trees while he followed, stepping in the same footprints as his son before. When the warriors arrived, they found the father and only saw one set of footprints, assuming they had caught the sole culprit, the son’s life was saved and the island was named. We visited the island for about 90 minutes as part of our Vaka Cruise lagoon tour during our Air Rarotonga day tour. Approaching the island, the water was a particularly brilliant shade of turquoise and the sandy beach where the boats arrive was clean, wide and white with bright green palm trees stretching overhead. Of the islands we visited during our lagoon cruise (in order; Akaiami, Moturakau, One Foot) this was the most beautiful with a wonderful beach and swimming area. There is just a touch of development with a tiny snack bar and post office just off the beach hidden in the palms which offers a few items to eat, beer and other drinks. The post office sells post cards, postage stamps and an opportunity for a souvenir passport stamp that is popular so be sure to take a few dollars ashore with you. We explored a good portion of the island and the area the tour boats arrive at is the most beautiful part of the island with an excellent beach and swimming where blue star fish, colorful fish and hermit crabs can be seen. One Foot Island is a beautiful place that we will never forget.
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